Thread Number: 72908  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
It's my wife and I's turn to host Thanksgiving and Christmas...
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Post# 963274   10/18/2017 at 23:29 (337 days old) by superocd (PNW)        

It's all fine by me EXCEPT for one little wife wants to roast a turkey. Im in a little bit of a panic, lol. Now call me crazy, but I don't like turkey. I can't stand the smell. So, instead of smelling the turkey as a guest in someone else's home, I will be smelling it in my own. I have a Whirlpool OTR hood (exhausted outside) but it isn't strong enough. I'm the kind of person that will fry bacon outside on the deck with an electric skillet just to avoid the odor (and mess).

I've tried to talk her into getting one from Costco that has been prepared already. At least the whole house won't smell like turkey. She said she will consider it but she wants to make as much of the meal homemade as possible since this is her first time hosting Thanksgiving. Ever since I approached my wife with my concern, I've felt awkward, even though she already knows I have OCD and has been accommodating, which is not easy. Among other triggers, one of my obsessions are odors and aromas that I perceive as bad.

I have the same resentment towards ham, too. She hasn't decided on what to serve for Christmas. She doesn't like ham so it will probably be something else.

Anyone else out there just like me? Anyone out there dreading the aroma of turkey?

Post# 963277 , Reply# 1   10/19/2017 at 00:22 (337 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I think

Turkey and ham smell like Christmas!!Nothing I like any better.

Post# 963278 , Reply# 2   10/19/2017 at 00:36 (337 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

foraloysius's profile picture
Perhaps a roaster oven is a solution? You could roast a turkey in the garage or so.

Post# 963281 , Reply# 3   10/19/2017 at 01:01 (337 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I wonder how well I'd do with the smell of turkey roasting these days... I never really liked turkey, and I've gone pretty much meatless in recent history... Fortunately, no matter what the answer to this question might be, it won't be a problem. I'll almost certainly be alone, as has been the case most recent years on both Thanksgiving and Christmas.


From the background comes the sound of Lord Kenmore gently sobbing, as he ponders how he'll be alone and unloved.


Buying a premade turkey seems like one possible solution. And, while i like the idea of loving home cooking being something you can't buy in the store, I have to wonder if it would matter with turkey since I found turkey pretty boring no matter what one does.


This aside, it's worth noting this is, and we just love our appliances here. Thus, this might be a chance to get some fun new appliance to play with. Perhaps a turkey can be roasted in, say, an electric roaster someplace like the garage where the smell won't be a problem.


Post# 963284 , Reply# 4   10/19/2017 at 01:10 (337 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
If you prefer white meat get a turkey breast and roast it instead of a whole turkey. They have less fat and I think less smell while they are roasting, especially if you use a roasting bag.

Also, a trick I read about some time ago and use all the time is to keep a shallow dish of white vinegar out on the counter to absorb cooking odors, it really does help alot believe it or not.

And the suggestions of using an electric roaster in the garage would be a good solution too. But I think when you buy those already roasted turkeys you still have to put them back inthe oven for a while to reheat them, so you could end up with the odors you want to avoid anyway if you go this route.

And lastly, if you have an air filter, plug that bad boy in while Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are in the oven, they do help alot too.

Post# 963287 , Reply# 5   10/19/2017 at 01:20 (337 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I always

Use a roaster, Kevin P gave me a beautiful Westinghouse roaster I love and I have a Kenmore and a GE also.

Post# 963290 , Reply# 6   10/19/2017 at 01:33 (337 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Grill it outdoors...


I have a great recipe for a dry rubbed turkey that is done on the grill with wood chips to give it a little smoked flavor.  Have not made it in many years, might have to dig it out and make it soon.

Post# 963296 , Reply# 7   10/19/2017 at 02:07 (337 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        

For over 25 years as a vegetarian and vegan I didn't fool with flesh. My mother would make certain and fix non-meat dressing for me along with oyster dressing for others.

To this day, though I occasionally eat meat, I don't get turned on by the 'cooking of the flesh' as we used to say. Frankly, for me Thanksgiving and Christmas have always meant much more as days to enjoy friends and family rather than simply cramming food in my face. I fixed Thanksgiving for an awful lot of years but since I've gotten older, and am alone, I will usually eat with others. Some hosts have had awful food, but who cares? I enjoy the day just as much.

It's gotten chic to p*ss and moan over having to go to visit people for the holidays. I can put up with any damn thing for a day or so and don't understand those who can't.

You just make certain that everyone feels welcome--that's true sophistication.

Post# 963300 , Reply# 8   10/19/2017 at 02:39 (337 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I love

To cook big holiday meals, example of a Thanksgiving menu would be
Turkey,Sausage cornbread dressing, Giblet gravy
Glazed ham
Sweet potato casserole
Mashed potatoes
Green Beans
Squash casserole
Pineapple casserole
Marinated slaw
Cranberry salad
Apple cranberry casserole
Homeade rolls
Pumpkin pie
Cocoanut cake
Chocolate cake
This is usually what I fix, And I try to make everything as full of cholesterol and sugar as I can make it, Holidays are NO time to worry about healthy...LOL

Post# 963301 , Reply# 9   10/19/2017 at 02:45 (337 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
An example...

My Dressing
1 large cake cornbread
1 bag Pepperidge Farm Herb seasoned dressing
2 big onions
4 or 5 stalks celery
1 lb extra sage sausage
sage and poultry seasoning to taste
Rich broth from cooking a big old hen or turkey parts
Brown the sausage, in same skillet melt 1 stick of butter, add finely chopped celery and onion, saute until tender, add to crumbled cornbread and dressing mix,add seasonings and broth to a very moist consistency, bake in a large greased baking dish at 375 about a hour.

Post# 963303 , Reply# 10   10/19/2017 at 03:16 (337 days old) by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I feel like it's best to talk about this in several different areas/stages.

How do you feel when it's something *else* roasting? Beef? Lamb? Chicken? Duck?

Because, really, while many people feel like it's not Thanksgiving without the turkey, there are *plenty* of people who are bored to death of eating turkey that day every single time, and honest, as long as it's yummy, there's nothing saying you *have* to serve turkey. It's a free country. For now, anyway. ;-)

Then there's how things tend to make the home smell. I tend to choose recipes that basically say "brush the meat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, stick it in the oven on a V-rack, flip it about halfway thru and wait it to reach proper temperature." -- there's no excuse nowadays, a good temp probe that will let you stab the meat and put it in the oven with a remote display on the countertop is about 10 to 20 bucks. Notice the lack of "open the oven every 15 minutes to baste", that does at least 2 things, it stops the oven from cooling down, which makes the process go very fast, 1.5 to 2 hours instead of 3, 4 or even 6; it also stops smells from spreading all over because the "fumes" will come up from the oven vent and be sucked out by the exhaust hood, instead of spreading all over from the oven door. The catch here, is that this method of roasting is often referred to "high roasting" or "high-temp roasting" because it often starts at 400-450F and may or may not drop to 350F at some point. You will have to accommodate this by finding recipes that use similar temps and don't need basting, which shouldn't be hard, if you are making baked yams/potatoes, dressing and even a lot of pies use high temps.

Notice I did not say "stuffing". You will not be stuffing anything, cook the stuffing in a separate dish (which makes it a dressing instead). That also shaves off roasting time and smells.

I am not OCD (that I know of) and I've been cooking my Turkey on a V-rack for years, because it's easier, faster, and people invariably remark on how tasty and juicy the meat is. It also peeves my sister-in-law, because instead of starting at around 11am and serving before 2pm like I do, she starts her cooking at around 6am and serves by 2pm, basting every 15-20 minutes etc. And no one says the meat is juicy. It's tasty, we appreciate the effort. And she's a wonderful person and I love her dearly, but just because you worked long and hard it doesn't mean that the outcome is the same. I value final results and working smart over working hard any day, thank you.

I want to talk about something else, and I will apologize in advance because it's a delicate subject, you can't see my facial expressions etc. I don't mean any disrespect, I don't mean to offend etc.

But we need to talk about your OCD. You sound like you are suffering from OCD. I do not recommend it. If you can't have fun with your OCD, I recommend you find a way to drop it somewhere out in the open road to never look back, as if you found a snake in your yard and you drop it 20 miles out of town. ;-)

What do I mean by that? From this side, you sound like you are living like a prisoner of your OCD. I would *love* to hear you tell us by December that you decided to have fun with it and your OCD is in your bus and you are driving your bus to wherever *you* want to go.

Why do I say that? Well, everyone has to eat. It's one thing to not like lamb and make pork instead. It's another thing not to be able to cook anything inside because of the smell, even if it's stuff that you like, like bacon.

And one doesn't have to have *any* OCD to feel that way -- I love the smells of food but I don't want my living room, or worse, upstairs bedrooms to smell like the food for days.

So, I ask you honestly, and you can tell me to go fuck myself, but *why* are you living with an OTR microwave/hood? Particularly when you can't cook bacon in the home, or have visitors for Thanksgiving?

Are you sentencing yourself to never cook in your home and live from stuff that you can buy ready or eating out?

I ask as someone who does not cook much (the vast majority of cooking in this home is by my wonderful husband) and I have *no* trouble eating ready-made stuff or going to restaurants every single day, but my spouse would rather not do that, and even I get sick and tired of restaurants and want a good homemade meal. Not to mention that I tend to gain way too much weight when I eat out or processed/ready food all the time instead of things we can control the ingredients etc.

Please be honest with yourself, your wife and us.

Because it's one thing to say "no cooking will happen in my house" and another entirely to say you'd rather not have the cooking smells permeating everything for days.

If you think about it, there are ways to *fix* the situation for good: get rid of the microwave/hood combo, put a good microwave oven somewhere else and install a good, quiet, powerful exhaust hood -- you have about a month to do it and determined people have done it in less than 2 weeks.

Find a place for your nuker, install a hood. Feel free to cook bacon, turkey, whatever in your own home.

Or find a way to install a good hood, a small table and a range in your garage or basement just for such things.

What I'm trying to say here is that you ask us what to do as if you were handicapped on a wheelchair. Stuck and unable to do anything, so you want us to tell your wife to suck it up and go have T-day at a restaurant.

Well, that's not fair to her *or* *you*. You can't let OCD run your life, even if that's the stereotype on movies and TV. I have plenty of friends and family with OCD in various ways, shapes and forms, and they find a way to live their lives: there's therapy, there are medications (some people react better than others, some medication works for longer than others etc), but there are things that you can do.

And I know it might sound like I'm here ragging on you and telling you what to do, but I'm not.

I'm here saying it's possible to leave that prison and make it at the very least a home arrest, and in many cases, break free completely. Enjoy yourself.

And I, for one, am rooting for you.

I'm hoping that by December, you will have told us that you and your wife made a plan about what to roast, that you followed the plan and it worked well, and everyone felt welcome and had fun, *including* *you*.

Gentle hugs,
   -- Paulo.

(PS: just because it feels "mandatory" at this point in the year, and so you can have a laugh or two, please follow the link for "Just put the f*cking turkey in the oven!")

CLICK HERE TO GO TO earthling177's LINK

Post# 963327 , Reply# 11   10/19/2017 at 08:23 (337 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Get several sprigs of rosemary. Gently lift the skin over the breast meat and slide the rosemary under the skin on both sides.  Use garlic in the rub for the skin with poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and celery seed in the fat or whatever you rub on the skin and you will not know that you are preparing turkey. Don't stuff it but put onions, carrots and celery in the cavity as well as chopped up in the roasting pan as a mirapoix to lend more aromatics to the process. I will admit turkey can smell funky in the early stages of roasting, but that is what these herbs and aromatic vegetables will mask while flavoring the meat and making a wonderful flavor for the gravy.

Post# 963337 , Reply# 12   10/19/2017 at 09:07 (337 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
If the smell makes you sick

panthera's profile picture

on two of the days which are supposed to be the most fun, then by all means find a solution.

Walmart sells very large roaster ovens for less than $50.00 which draw relatively little current and do an outstanding job of roasting a big turkey or ham. It can be put outside so you don't have to smell the food cooking.

It also frees up your inside oven for the large number of dishes which have to be baked or grilled.


I don't eat meat, haven't since 1989. Doesn't bother me to prepare it for others, my concerns are not the ethical or blah-blah nonsense. However, I live with one of those people who have a mile long list of eww, ick I'm gonna barf scents they simply can't tolerate. Cooking/roasting/baking/whatever outside solves that problem.


We all react strongly to various scents, though and if this is a problem, then a big roaster oven is the solution.


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Post# 963396 , Reply# 13   10/19/2017 at 15:59 (336 days old) by agiflow2 ()        

Love the smells of holiday cooking. The smell of something roasting/baking in the oven on a cold afternoon/evening gives me a cozy feeling. But now being only 2 people those days are pretty much over. Just isn't the same without lost loved ones anymore.

Post# 963398 , Reply# 14   10/19/2017 at 16:42 (336 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I have narrowed my issues with certain scents down to anything combusted pretty much. Anything burnt, or fried will burn my nose in short order if I don't get the scent out ASAP. Vehicle exhaust odors drive me crazy too. I don't even like a candle burning in the house for this reason. The only other thing that bothers me in cooking is boiling soups/meat. Can't have anything cooking in the house overnight as that scent will keep me up all night, so that usually ends up in a Crockpot on the back porch. 


The other half to my issue is the design of the house I live in, which has a two story foyer/living room where all the heat/cooking odors rise up out of the kitchen, up into the upstairs foyer and comes right into the bedrooms even with the doors closed. So If I'm upstairs all those cooking smells are magnified greatly. 

Currently there isn't any sort of range hood in the kitchen and exhausting it would be difficult because the range is on an inside wall adjacent to the dining room. To do anything at all the wall would have to be opened up to get a duct in it and down to the basement, and even then it wouldn't be large enough for the type of exhaust fan I'd like to use which would be one of those externally mounted units that moves anywhere from 600-1200 CFM. 


So, something more suited to a typical rectangular duct fitting in the cavity of a 2x4 stud bay will have to do. But something else I'd like to do is install a whole house fan at the top of the foyer/upstairs foyer to quickly exhaust cooking odors and help with cross ventilation in the house when the windows are open as it does tend to be hard to get enough air moving through the house on a mild sunny day to keep it from getting too warm. 

Post# 963407 , Reply# 15   10/19/2017 at 17:48 (336 days old) by Xraytech (S.W. Pennsylvania, near Pittsb)        

xraytech's profile picture
I also can't stand the smell of turkey, nor do I eat it.
Growing up my paternal grandfather hated turkey, so when grandma would have thanksgiving dinner it was ALWAYS stuffed cabbage with mashed potatoes, green beans, and often chicken paprikash over grated noodles. Then when mom would have everyone for dinner there was a turkey and grandma always brought cabbage rolls.

Now that grandma and grandpap are both gone I ALWAYS make stuffed cabbage since to me the smell of it says thanksgiving.

As for roasting a turkey it's best done in an electric roaster outside on the porch.

Post# 963592 , Reply# 16   10/21/2017 at 03:33 (335 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

HATE those tastless,chemical laden "turkeys" sold today-if you got have a turkey shoot a WILD one-MUCH better and healthier for you.There are ButterBall turkey farms in my area-big buildings where the turkeys are kept and pumpted,fed chemicals to fatten them up QUICKLY for Thanksgiving and Christmas-when in the woods here there are LOTS of wild ones!!!!NOT those ghost white things that are sold today!

Post# 963625 , Reply# 17   10/21/2017 at 08:38 (335 days old) by runematic (southcentral pa)        

runematic's profile picture
We've been buying a turkey from a local farm the last few years. The taste is so much better. As far as cooking it, I usually brine it and then throw it on the smoker for hours. We used to use the Westinghouse roaster for decades. That smell there always reminds me of Thanksgiving growing up when both sets of grandparents would be there. They are both gone now so our Thanksgiving is small, just 4 people. It's just my mom, dad, brother, & me. My oldest brother lives out-of-state and is the only one with children. He spends it there with his family and his wife's family.

Post# 963634 , Reply# 18   10/21/2017 at 09:19 (335 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
It's either something I like to do, or don't like to do...

Right now, I hope it will once again be at my sister's house (though she's divorced, and have never been at the home of her new man--which unfortunately is still in "life-long bachelor (despite being 11-years-her senior) mode"--where she now resides, and maybe one day I'll see (she revealed that his electric stove only has ONE working burner) so it will probably be at his parents' house (where I think we'd had last Thanksgiving)...

Otherwise, after years of making my own here (w/ varying degrees of success & failure, going along w/ the fluctuating & decreasing number of guests) I have the hankering for (giving how many good restaurants ARE open Thanksgiving) eating out; once did w/ my parents & sis, decades ago (were my grandmother & grandfather out of town? Perhaps at one of my two out-of-state Aunts' houses that one year!)...

-- Dave

Post# 963697 , Reply# 19   10/21/2017 at 16:56 (334 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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I'm not a huge fan of turkey either - I like it when it's fresh cooked, but I'm not the type that likes to eat leftover turkey sandwiches. Sometimes I like a little bit here and there leftover and eaten with sides, but not when it dries out.

I prefer ham both ways. But really I tend to enjoy the sides moreso than the meats. The carrots, beans, dressing with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, all of them.

Post# 963888 , Reply# 20   10/22/2017 at 15:27 (333 days old) by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

Back to the topic. There is no law that says you have to have turkey or ham on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Is there anything whose cooking smell isn't as offensive? I would NOT offer up lamb - even I can't stand the smell of cooking lamb (heresy for an italian, but my parents were not big meat eaters coming from poor immigrant families.

Many friends have pot roast, brisket, meat loaf, lasagne or even stuffed cabbage on major holidays. The food writer Craig Claiborne used to write that his mother served a family favorite - Spaghetti Casserole on holidays when he was growing up in the South.

You could always grill roast a beef tenderloin (cooks illustrated/americas test kitchen offers some good recipes for that). Serve with horseradish sauce and people will be thrilled.

Just a thought!!

Post# 963969 , Reply# 21   10/23/2017 at 06:57 (333 days old) by westingguelph ()        
Turkey Smells

I agree with the folks that are suggesting cooking it outside in a garage or maybe on the barbecue. I would even suggest a deep fryer. Some rental companies have these units. I recently saw an episode of Valerie's Home Cooking I think it was the first year's episode were she had an indoor deep fryer and she cooked a whole turkey. She said there was a special filter that trapped all of the smell.

Post# 963978 , Reply# 22   10/23/2017 at 07:26 (333 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Some find lamb, turkey, etc.

gamy smelling, tasting, and offensive. With some foods, it's texture.
To me, mutton is sheep, not spring lamb. Big difference. A young deer is better than an older one too.

Turkey I love. The smell while roasting, and taste.

I brine my fresh farm turkey in apple cider, oranges, cloves, or star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, salt and pepper corns.
I make fresh sage dressing with fresh turkey stock, butter, celery, onion, apple, and sausage, and it roasts in the bird. What will fit inside of course.
All those aromas while roasting is pure bliss to me.
We're not huge yam with sweet stuff fans though. I make a fresh squash casserole
with butter, walnuts, allspice, a bit of dark brown sugar, a touch of cream or half and half. I also like parsnips with leeks roasted in a light wine, cream and butter sauce with nutmeg. Salt & pepper in all of course.
Also halved roasted brussels sprouts with well rendered bacon.
Cranberry sauce of course, and apple and pumpkin pies.

Of course fix what ever pleases your selves and guests.

Post# 964000 , Reply# 23   10/23/2017 at 09:38 (333 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one........

in other words, this is a day that is ALL about your guests...and accomodating them....

no matter what you cook, who, how, or where!!!

besides, sounds like your wonderful saint of a wife is having to do all the cooking, prep, and cleanup.....

enjoy the day with good cheer for all....and when they leave, break out the can of FeBreeze.....

when I have dinner gatherings, parties, or wash-in is ALL ABOUT THE GUESTS!!!....

no matter what is being cooked for dinner, people enjoy the traditions of good food cooking, plenty of food and drink, and great conversation.....

its just for one day......

Post# 964025 , Reply# 24   10/23/2017 at 15:28 (332 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

It may be "just one day" and maybe "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one." (Although I honestly wouldn't consider having turkey for dinner a "need.") BUT this may well be considerably worse than minor inconvenience based on what I read in the first post, which mentions he has OCD, and that what he perceives as bad smells are triggers.





Post# 964098 , Reply# 25   10/24/2017 at 01:42 (332 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        
You know...

...sometimes being and adult and spouse means you have to do things and experience things that you may not want to do.  Mitigate the smell the best you can, but remember there are others around you that day who do not share your issues with the smell.  They are coming to your home with certain expectations, a good host puts the guests first...

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